Open Call — Common LAB 2024
- 16.11 — 10.12 2023
We are looking for 8 theatre directors, playwrights, choreographers or performance makers to take part in Common LAB 2024. This itinerant 8-week laboratory will provide opportunities to experiment with collective and individual devices for knowledge sharing and the development of artistic research, with the goal of broadening European multicultural and intercultural narratives.
Common LAB - A programme of Common stories
Common LAB 2024 is part of Common Stories, a project that brings together performing arts organisations, artists and audiences to address the dynamic notions of identity and cultural diversity in a changing European society.
Identity constructions are based on and strengthened by stories and experiences. Stories tell us who we are and who we strive to become. They question and challenge the way we see ourselves and others. We believe that a diversity of stories and a multiplicity of perspectives will allow for a more accurate and fair understanding of the political, cultural and social challenges we face in creating common grounds in European societies, which are characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and the struggle for social justice.
European societies are historically built upon inequalities that, we believe, need to be addressed. Cultural sectors, both concretely and symbolically, are riddled with colonial tensions and rationales, as well as logics of domination and power relations. In the performing arts sector, resources, decision-making and programming positions are still mostly in the hands of a white male middle-and-upper-classes majority, while artists and art professionals from different cultural, social, gender and ability backgrounds are underrepresented on and off stage, especially in decision-making and leadership positions.
In Common Stories, promoted artistic practices and contents will contribute to the development of a wider transformative framework to better welcome and listen to multiple voices and perspectives.
Common stories is developed by Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis, MC93, Bobigny (FR), Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles, Brussels (BEL), Alkantara, Culturgest, Lisbon (PT), africologneFESTIVAL, Cologne (GER), Riksteatern, Stockholm (SWE), in association with TR Warszawa, Warsaw (PL), Orient Productions – DCAF Festival, Cairo (EG), CulturArte, Maputo (MOZ), Les Récréâtrales, Ouagadougou (BF), co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
The Common LABs
We will hold three Common LABs, one in each year from 2023 to 2025. We will select eight artists for each lab. Each Common LAB is comprised of four two-week modules in four different cities, including one location outside of Europe, for a total of eight weeks.
Here is where and when Common LAB 2024 will take place:
- Lisbon, Portugal | 17 - 30 June 2024 | Hosted by Alkantara
- Maputo, Moçambique | 2-15 September 2024 | Hosted by CulturArte
- Bobigny, França | 14-27 October 2024 | Hosted by MC93
- Brussels, Belgium | 28 October - 10 November 2024 | Hosted by Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles
Throughout the programme of Common LAB, we will be paying particular attention to the following issues:
-Artistic practices and stories that are underrepresented or absent from our institutions. The relevance of diversity in language, aesthetics and representation.
-Public space and visibility. How cities’ architecture and urban policies shape what is valued, made visible and invisible.
The next call, for Common LAB 2025, will be launched in September 2024.
Common LAB will provide opportunities for selected artists to:
1. Exchange, share and learn, through a programme of activities that includes:
- Lectures and talks by guest speakers
- Workshops and masterclasses - on techniques/practices, in relation to a specific context or to the work of the selected artists
- Individual or group professional development training on topics such as copyright, project financing, contracts, access to international networks
- Encounters, city visits and meetings - with the teams of the host organisation; with guest artistic mentors; with local communities, including artistic communities, activists, partners, mediators; with other artists in residency; with different working contexts
- Artistic events taking place in host venue and/or host city
2. Research their own projects, through individual and collective working sessions with guest mentors. In addition to group activities, the Lab will allow time for artists to research with full autonomy.
3. Present their project
During the last module of the Common LAB in Brussels, the artists will be encouraged to share their project through performances, discussions or screenings, with the partners’ artistic directors and other professional guests. The presentation session will be prepared with the support and feedback of the Common LAB guest mentors throughout the programme.
The Common LAB contents will be discussed with the selected artists and shaped according to their profiles and interests. Most activities will be in English. Translation from/to English may be offered for some activities, according to the needs of the participants.
What we offer:
- A programme of activities
- Stipend (80€/residency day)
- Travel and accommodation
Who can apply?
- addressing the dynamic notions of identity and diversity in a changing European society, both at a professional and personal level
- have a professional practice in the performing arts - Dance, Theatre, Performance or other
- interested in researching and pitching a project (regardless of the number of people needed to execute the project - could be solo works, group pieces or other formats)
- live and work in Europe
- who have a good command of English
- available to fully participate in the four scheduled modules
Only the artist/author leading the project may apply. Group applications cannot be accommodated as Common LAB will only support the costs of one person per project.
We strongly encourage applications from artists of all ethnicities, cultures, religions, nationalities, abilities and disabilities, sexes, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, ages, and socioeconomic statuses.
How will projects be selected?
Applications will be evaluated by Panaíbra Gabriel Canda (CulturArte), Carla Nobre Sousa and David Cabecinha (Alkantara), Pierre Thys and Valérie Martino (Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles), and Hortense Archambault and Virginie Dupray (MC93). Evaluators will consider the project the applicant would like to research, as well as their background and previous works.
As part of the process, applications will be discussed with two members of the Common Stories Advisory Committee. They will examine applications and deliver recommendations on the diversity of the group and the relevance of the selected artistic projects.
Up to 20 shortlisted artists will be invited to participate in a 20-minute interview between 15-19 January 2024. Final results will be announced by email by 26 January 2024.
All artists will be informed about the result of their application, whether they are selected or not. We will not be able to provide individual feedback. All applications will be carefully reviewed, but please keep in mind that our decisions are final.
How to apply?
Complete the application form available here by 10 December 2023, 11pm UTC.
We encourage you to submit your application in English, but we will also consider applications in Portuguese, French, German, Polish and Swedish.
If at any point you have any questions about this call feel free to reach out to:
- Ionara Silva (firstname.lastname@example.org) for inquiries in English/Portuguese
- Virginie Dupray (email@example.com) for inquiries in French